Immersive Experience: The Speakeasy Society Presents THE KANSAS COLLECTION: THE STORM

THE STORM is building. Are you prepared?

It’d been a long time since I had answered the call of Oz. After finding out the truth that resided within Phil Daring, I waited and bided my time to figure out what to do with this information. Do I inform Ozma, the woman I had previously sworn my allegiance to, a woman I know is too dangerous to rule over any kingdom? Do I tell someone else the information like the Lion, who guards information until it becomes convenient to turn it over? Or do I keep it to myself, waiting for my own opportunity to put forth the information?

None of those options really mattered though, when I received the call from someone I hadn’t heard from since that ill-fortuned wedding – General Files. It is with this summons that I found myself waiting patiently outside on a sidewalk. However, I could feel the shift in the air. THE STORM was coming and coming fast. Thus, a new chapter from The Speakeasy Society’s Kansas Collection had arrived.

THE STORM is the ninth chapter in The Kansas Collection, a re-imagining of what took place within L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz novels. As participants enter this new installment, time has begun to gradually fall apart as the portals between Earth and Oz lose stability. While many have wondered what can be done to set things right and fix this, it has become apparent that certain players in Oz are not concerned. In fact, one player’s particular’s interest in the portals remaining open will surprise no one.

Immersive Experience: The Speakeasy Society Presents THE KANSAS COLLECTION: THE STORM
Genevieve Gearheart as Queen Ozma | Photo Courtesy of The Speakeasy Society

Recruits from Kansas have been summoned by Queen Ozma for a small reception. As luck would so have it, many recruits will experience a bit of a Time Slip, falling back into the same evening where you witnessed the events of Chapter 8 – The Slippers. Your choices are important. Will you stand up and speak your mind? Will you be quiet under the power trip of certain Generals? Or will you curry favor with the dearest of Queens herself? For myself, I chose to make small, but questionably powerful choices. How it will impact me moving forward into the final installment, I have no clue.

Upon arriving at an undisclosed location, recruits are ordered to follow General Files. He is escorting us to a secure location prior to seeing our great and powerful Majesty, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’ll be sunshine and roses. No, General Files has something to prove, but also something to get off of his chest before remembering his position. In that brief time spent with General Files, we watch as Zan Headley reveals layers beneath the mask that Files tries so hard to maintain. Here is a man crippled by guilt, but also trying to stick to what he believes in the process of maintaining loyalty. Much is conveyed in these moments about Files, further expanding our knowledge of the character before we descend down to meet our Majesty.

A smaller audience is meant for this chapter, providing small opportunities for all to make connections with both Ozma and General Files. However, unlike THE SLIPPERS, this installment seems more focused on watching what’s unfolding before us rather than actively inserting ourselves into the storyline. And, I think a lot of that has to do with the presence Genevieve Gearheart wields as Queen Ozma. As soon as we enter the secured location for the reception, all eyes turn to her and you can’t help but be drawn in by her charismatic, bombastic performance as she reminds us all what our place is in her plans. We also learn that despite how much has changed since the events of THE WEDDING as other remaining factions try to figure out solutions to take her down, Ozma is very much in control and nothing will stop her from getting what she wants.

Immersive Experience: The Speakeasy Society Presents THE KANSAS COLLECTION: THE STORM
Jessica Rosilyn as the Lion | Photo Courtesy of The Speakeasy Society

One player that I honestly haven’t seen enough of given my unfortunate failure to catch the previous chapter is the Lion and she is back in this chapter. I have always loved how Jessica Rosilyn blends subtle comedy within her portrayal of the Lion. Her presence has always helped curb the tension that builds within these scenes and she does just that when she makes her appearance in this chapter. However, this time we get to see a continuation of her wily side, but with different results. I’ll leave that entirely up to your imagination.

By the time recruits are escorted out, there is a lot to unpack. We’ve become witness to things that require a lot of dissection, but also a lot of soul searching as to where we want to be when all hell breaks loose. It seems fitting that this installment is referred to as THE STORM because you can definitely feel one coming as this chapter reaches its conclusion.

Overall, THE STORM definitely was a great installment to get people primed and anticipated for the final chapter of The Kansas Collection. The stakes were raised, choices were made, and the consequences will be plenty I imagine as we get ready for the war that is soon to come.

This is the only weekend to get caught up in THE STORM. The remaining shows take place on March 15-17th and tickets are $30. Tickets, and additional information, can be found at  Ozma forever…

The Storm | Photo Courtesy of The Speakeasy Society
Sarah Musnicky
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